Cheltenham Festival 2012 

home Cheltenham Home

Free Racing Tips

Horses 160x600 Jpg

cheltenham festival / 2012 news /


Festive Results Cause Cheltenham Market Changes

As it always does, the Festive season gave National Hunt racing fans a huge amount of entertainment but there was only one horse that captured the headlines over Christmas.

Kauto Star
© Racehorse Photos

Kauto Star

That horse of course is Kauto Star, who came back for his annual Boxing Day visit to Kempton Park and won the King George Vl Chase for a record breaking fifth time in magnificent style. In doing so, he overcame the challenge of last year’s winner and reigning Cheltenham Gold Cup champion, Long Run but did so with some authority, always travelling the better of the two.

The scene is now set for a third showdown between the two this season, the first of which came at Haydock in November when Kauto Star saw off Long Run by eight lengths and the third battle will come in the 2012 Gold Cup, where Kauto is a best price of 9/2 to win the race for a third time, although Long Run remains the favourite with odds of 5/2.

Others to stake Gold Cup claims over the Christmas period were the Jonjo O’Neill trained, Synchronised, who bypassed his defence of the Welsh National in preference to taking on the cream of the Irish Gold Cup challengers in the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown – and landed the spoils in some style.

Synchronised won the race by over 8 lengths from Rubi Light with the 13/8 favourite, Quito De La Roque, a further 2½ lengths back in third with a number of other Grade 1 winners even further behind. Connections immediately suggested that the Gold Cup would be his Cheltenham target and has been installed as the fourth favourite at odds of 12/1.

Although still not certain of running in the Gold Cup, it is Grands Crus who is attracting plenty of antepost betting support after his trainer, David Pipe, announced that he has not ruled him out of running in the race despite being a Novice and that his owners would prefer a bid for the Gold Cup rather than the natural route which would see him contest the RSA Chase with a Gold Cup delayed until 2013. This indecision comes as no surprise following the way in which Grands Crus bolted up for a third successive win over fences when taking the Grade 1, Feltham Novice Chase, over the same course and trip as the King George Vl Chase but in a faster time than Kauto Star! If it was decided that he'd take his chance against the likes of Kauto Star and Long Run, he would be bidding to become the first novice since Captain Christy in 1974 to win National Hunt Racing's Blue Riband event.

Other big hopefuls to stake Cheltenham Festival claims were the Nicky Henderson trained Binocular who won the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle for the second year in succession on Boxing Day. The 2010 champion, reversed the form with his Fighting Fifth Hurdle conqueror, Overturn and proved too strong on the run in from the Paul Nicholls hope, Rock On Ruby.

The Bookmakers however were not overly impressed with the run and still make him only a 12/1 chance in the Champion Hurdle market, while his stablemate and International Hurdle winner, Grandouet is a much shorter priced option at 6/1. With doubts lingering concerning the form of defending champion hurdler, Hurricane Fly, this year’s Champion Hurdle has a much more open feel to it and much will depend on the eagerly anticipated reappearance of Triumph Hurdle winner, Zarkandar.

The biggest market shake up for the Cheltenham Festival came following the defeat of Arkle Trophy Chase favourite, Peddlers Cross, who finished a long way behind the Nicky Henderson trained Spirit Sacre in the Grade 2 Novice Chase at Kempton Park. Bookmakers immediately replaced Peddlers Cross, with Spirit Sacre at the head of the Arkle market with at 5/2, pushing Peddlers Cross out to 6/1 in the process.

The other major race over the Christmas period of course was the Welsh National, which was won in great style by the Richard Lee trained, Le Beau Bai, who took the race by seven lengths from Giles Cross, who was finishing in second place for the second year running. It was a great performance from Le Beau Bai who had previously finished in third place behind Dream Alliance in the 2009 Welsh National.

tumpline internet home | associations | bloodstock agents | bookmakers | information | horses | jockeys | links | overseas | portals | racecourses | race horse trainers | sales | studs | syndicates | submit site email
© • 33 Moorhouse Road • Carlisle • CA2 7LU